Nigeria: Senate Postpones Resumption to Adhere to Lockdown Order

(File photo).

The Senate has extended the suspension of the plenary in order to comply with the lockdown order given to contain the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a deadly respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. It has infected over a million people globally and caused over 60,000 deaths.

The Senate's spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, confirmed this to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.

This, he said, was in compliance with the 14-days lockdown order given by President Muhammadu Buhari.

"No. We are not resuming today, because of the lockdown order," he said.

Earlier, the Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, also confirmed to journalists that "the Senate shall abide by the Executive Order of Mr President which is binding on all, short of any National Assembly legislation to the contrary."

However, when asked if the Senate will hold an emergency sitting to consider the N500 billion loan request by the president, Mr Akwashiki said he could not comment as the lawmakers are yet to agree on that.

"... we have to agree on whether or not there will be sitting for that. For now, I cannot say. I can only speak on the resolution of the Senate so let's be patient, when we get there, we will know."

The Senate had on March 24, suspended plenary sessions for two weeks in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease as well as put up other safety measures in the complex.

The lawmakers were expected to resume legislative activities today, April 7, but the president, on March 29, ordered the lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory as well as Lagos and Ogun States.

The directive was also aimed at curbing the spread of the disease across the states and by extension, the country.

"All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

"The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed," he said.

The lockdown, which started on March 30, has witnessed huge compliance in the city centre and very little compliance around the suburbs.

Already, the federal government has threatened to extend the lockdown. This means the Senate will also extend its resumption date if the lockdown is extended.

Nigeria has recorded 238 COVID-19 cases with 35 persons discharged and five deaths.

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